Monday, May 26, 2014

Bilge pump upgrade and Step Scraping

Over the weekend, we've been able to knock a few more things off the list.   Although we still have the starboard side to do, we were able to switch the port hull bilge to automatic pumping.  Originally, there was one strainer on each side of the rib attached to one main pump that was located under the sink in the head.  There was also a valve located under the sink that would switch from one strainer or the other, prior to the discharge leaving the boat, through a shared through-hull....

....To operate the bilge, you had to manually switch on the pump, then switch which side of the rib to sump with the valve.  I understand the logic behind the switch valve, but I can't understand how this is an efficient way to care for pumping out water in the bilge with all the manual care this system requires.  Besides, the original pump did not look like it was very efficient and seemed worn-out, especially when compared to the shower pump we installed a couple of months ago.  Now, when we do eventually get this boat in the water, I will have a fully automatic pumping system that can be left "on" and engages automatically. Additionally, I used the original shower sump switch (that's not being used anymore because of the automatic shower sump) to engage my bilge pumps manually if I feel the need to. 

Making use of the old shower sump button 

It also cleared out a lot of tubing and clutter under the sink area.  The original shower bilge pump wasn't even wired or plumbed since it had been previously by-passed and the same cumbersome pumping system was utilized on the bilge pump system itself.  

There were two pumps mounted and plumbed on these mounting pads - the empty tube in this picutre will now need its own above-the-waterline through-hull so it won't have to be switched manually.

The other project that I've been putting off (I actually started this on our last visit) is scraping the non-skid padding off the boarding steps.  It was originally gray, but is now some sort of puke/yellow/beige color - and was extremely hard to remove.  It looks like whoever installed this non-skid used 5200 to adhere every bit of it to the boat - and it did not want to let go.  We sharpened a puddy knife and that made the job doable, but it was still a bitch.  


The "after" shot - ready for new non-skid



  1. Hello Family Ray. Just wanted to drop a note to say your blog is interesting and I admire the perseverance the family is displaying. And really sorry to see Tami's accident. Hope she is recovering well and not rethinking the whole adventure.

    It be great to hear more about the sailing plans, timelines etc. Sounds like you've got the finances sorted- kudos there.

    Finally, I did not know either that changing the boat's name could be bad luck. With two falls already, Tami is bearing the brunt of it unfairly. Recommend the family research how to remedy the situation both in a ritual type of offering and more pre-job safety meetings and hazard hunts. Best of Luck to you all.


  2. Thanks for checking out the blog, but about the changing name thing...we haven't put a name on the boat and it hasn't been splashed. But stuff happens and you deal with it, but we can't stop working on it because of fear. She's said she'll be on the boat one way or another...even if she has to peg-leg it like an old salty pirate, she'll be on the boat. Btw, we will be doing the ceremony and we're taking every precaution to be safe while on the hard, but.the deck is damn near 10' off the ground!

  3. The jobs aboard never seem to end. It always surprises me how many changes are made to a boat and the precious owners leave wires and plumbing just hanging around instead of just removing it.
    Good luck with all the work and soon you will be out here enjoying life with the rest of us cruising.
    They say that sailing is all about fixing boats in exotic locations!